George Pérez, the acclaimed comics writer and artist behind such works as Crisis on Infinite Earths, passed away on at the age of 67.
The news broke on Saturday afternoon from a message on his Facebook page, where it was said he passed on May 6 “peacefully at home with his wife [Carol] of 490 months and family by his side.” In December, Pérez revealed his diagnosis with stage 3 cancer, an announcement that led to the comics industry rallying behind the creator and talking about their experiences with him and his work. More recently, multiple DC Comics artists came together to celebrate the comics titan in a legendary piece of artwork featuring an assortment of characters he illustrated for the publisher over the years. This two-page spread will be published in every issue releasing in the month of June, in honor of his birthday on June 9. Both DC and Marvel have each published their own tweets celebrating Pérez, calling him a pivotal piece of their respective histories.
Born on June 9, 1954, Pérez began his career in the early 70s at Marvel Comics as a penciller for back up stories in 1974's Astonishing Tales #25. He would later create White Tiger, the publisher’s first Puerto Rican superhero, with Bill Mantlo, and went on to draw the Avengers for over 20 issues, creating the villain Taskmaster with David Micheline in 1980's Avengers #175, and drew half of the writer Jim Shooter’s “Korvac Saga” as one of his first major storylines.
Pérez would later jump ship to DC and helped launch The New Teen Titans with Marv Wolfman in 1980, leading to the team’s now de facto lineup of Robin (Dick Grayson), Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg, along with Kid Flash (Wally West) and Wonder Girl (Donna Troy). Though he also did art on Justice League of America during that same period, it was Titans where he drew the most attention, and it became highly successful as a result. Beyond teaming with Wolfman again for the aforementioned Crisis, several highlights in Pérez’s career include the 1987 reboot of Wonder Woman, going back to Marvel to draw for Jim Starlin’s 1991 limited series Infinity Gauntlet, and forming the short-lived creator owned imprint Gorilla Comics with fellow comics creators such as Kurt Busiek, Stuart Immonen, and Mark Waid. He even got to combine his careers with the limited series crossover JLA/Avengers with writer Kurt Busiek in 2003-2004.
Pérez retired from the industry in January 2019 due to various health issues, though he would attend a limited number of conventions from time to time. Following the announcement of his diagnosis, he expressed a desire to spend his remaining time with his family, and in the public appearances he had left, would let his fans know that they meant as much to him as he did to them. “I’m feeling the Christmas spirit more now than I have in many years,” Pérez said in December. “Maybe it’s because it will likely be my last. Or maybe because I am enveloped in the loving arms of so many who love me as much as I love them.”
Our thoughts are with the Pérez family at this time. A memorial service will take place for all to attend at MEGACon in Orlando on Sunday, May 22 at 6 pm. Additional details will arrive in the coming weeks.
In the comments below, let us know some of your favorite works from George Pérez.
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